The Santa Monica city council has agreed to consider a resolution stating its intention to close Santa Monica Airport (SMO) by June 30, 2018, or as soon as legally permitted. The council on July 26 unanimously approved a motion to consider the resolution at the August 23 meeting. “This motion helps clear the air regarding our intent, which is to close the airport as soon as is possible,” said mayor pro tempore Ted Winterer.
The motion comes just a few months after the U.S. Appeals Court revived a previously dismissed lawsuit by the city of Santa Monica to retain control over the fate of SMO, keeping alive the city’s hopes to shutter the airport.
“We are committed to reclaiming our land, and this motion gets us closer to protecting the health and safety of our residents, and to transitioning the airport land to better uses—uses the community has asked for at the ballot box,” added mayor Tony Vazquez, who introduced the motion with Winterer.
The city council further directed the city manager to report on measures that could be taken near term to reduce the impact of the airport and to implement the proposed resolution. This includes beginning the planning process and environmental analysis for use of the land.
The city noted the 2014 ballot initiative calling for the land to be used for parks, open space and recreational facilities unless voters dictate others, and Winterer stressed the importance of “dispel[ling] rumors that the city wants to turn the airport into a massive development.”